Australia

Paraburdoo Complex

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Iron Ore
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
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Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe Greater Paraburdoo Iron Ore Hub includes iron ore mining operations at Paraburdoo, Eastern Range mine, and Western Range Project.

Paraburdoo Hub is a part of Hamersley Iron operation and belongs to Australian Pilbara Operations.

Construction at Western Range, which will help sustain production from the existing Paraburdoo mining hub, started in 2023. The first production is anticipated in 2025.
Related AssetWestern Range Project

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
China Baowu 46 % Indirect
Rio Tinto plc 54 % Indirect
Paraburdoo mine is 100% owned by Hamersley Iron Pty Limited, subsidiary of Rio Tinto Plc.

Eastern Range Mine and Western Range Project are owned by 54% Rio Tinto of the Bao-Hi joint venture with the remaining 46% held by China Baowu.

Deposit type

  • Banded iron formation
  • Detrital Iron (DID)

Summary:

Mineralisation at Paraburdoo is haematite/goethite hosted within the banded iron formations of the Brockman Formation. Detrital deposits also occur at these sites.

The Western Range 36W–50W and 55W–66W deposits are located within the Hamersley Basin of Western Australia, the host to some of the most significant iron ore deposits in the world. The Western Range 36W–50W and 55W–66W deposits mineralisation is primarily hosted by the Brockman Iron Formation with additional detrital mineralisation present.

Operations at Eastern Range span deposits at 23-24 East, 32 East, 37-42 East, 42 East and future mining at 42EE and the 47E deposits.

The BIF is a member of the ~620 m thick Brockman Iron Formation which makes up part of the 2.63 2.45 Ga Hamersley Group. The Hamersley Group comprises almost 2.5 km of consecutive sedimentary and volcanic rocks located within the ca. 80,000 km2 Hamersley Province of the Pilbara craton in North West Australia, approximately 1100 km north of Perth. In the lower part, it consists of dolomite, shale and BIF, while the upper part consists of dolerite, various lava types and BIF with minor amounts of tuffs and shales. Underlying the Hamersley Group, is the 2.78–2.63 Ga Fortescue Group, which consists of flood basalts and rhyolites. These volcanics were laid down on the uplifted and eroded Pilbara block. This volcanic succession may contain remnants of a Large Igneous Province (LIP).

The Brockman Iron Formation ofthe Hamersley Group is divided into four sub-lithostratigraphic units, namely the lowermost Dales Gorge Member (BIF), the Whaleback Shale Member, the Joffre Member (BIF), and the uppermost Yandicoogina Shale Member. After deposition, these laterally extensive BIF have all experienced minor folding and basinal uplift along with low-grade regional metamorphism – from burial prehnite–pumpellyite facies to greenschist facies.

General consensus exists regarding the depositional model of the Brockman Iron Formation. According to this model, the succession was deposited on a large, stable, and clastic-starved, continental platform, which was influenced by episodic inputs of fine-grained tuffaceous detritus.

Western Range
General Statements:
• The Western Range 36W-50W and 55W–66W deposits are typical high-phosphorus, martitegoethite Brockman type deposits.
• Mineralisation occurs within both the Dales Gorge and Joffre Members of the Brockman Iron Formation. Minor mineralisation also occurs in the Whaleback Shale, Yandicoogina Shale and Weeli Wolli Members.
• There is minor detrital mineralisation, which occurs as shallow fan shaped deposits to the south of the range and small canga deposits close to the range front.
• Western Range is bounded to the east by the 36W steep reverse fault and to the west by the 72W fault.
• There are numerous smaller scale faults trending northwest and east-northeast. Numerous dolerite dyke intrusions crosscut and overprint faults. There are also numerous dolerite sills in the area within the Whaleback Shale, Joffre, Yandicoogina Shale and Weeli Wolli Members.
• Several dolerite dykes bisect the area, and largely follow fault lines which tend to trend northwest to southeast.
• The major Joffre sill runs east to west across the area and is offset by the northwest-southeast trending faults.
• Approximately 90% of the Mineral Resource lies above the water table.

Deposit Specific Statements:
Western Range 36W-50W:
• Eighteen mapped faults lie within the Western Range 36W-50W deposit. The mapped faults have varying trend and throw.
• A minor sill lies within the Whaleback Shale 2 layer, but this is only present in the Western Range 36W-50W deposit.
• The Western Range 36W-50W deposit strikes approximately southeast – northwest with an along strike extent of approximately 6 km and a width of up to approximately 1 km. The mineralisation extends from surface to a depth of 200 m.

Western Range 55W-66W:
• Twenty-one mapped faults lie within the Western Range 55W–66W deposit. The mapped faults have varying trend and throw.
• The Western Range 55W-66W deposit strikes approximately east-west with an along strike extent of approximately 5 km and a width of up to approximately 1 km. The mineralisation extends from surface to a depth of 180 m.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

Combined production numbers are reported under Hamersley Iron Operation

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

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Aerial view:

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